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Businessman’s safety failures led to worker’s injury

Posted in: Employer Negligence Workplace Injuries 

A South London businessman and his company have been prosecuted for safety breaches after a worker narrowly escaped being crushed by a collapsing load of stone slabs.

The two-tonne set of ten slabs fell from the side of a lorry as workmen were trying to unload them at a workshop.

Employee Radoslaw Samson was on the trailer with a colleague having removed the packaging supporting the slabs so each could be removed individually by a forklift truck. As he altered a clamp at the end of a lifting arm attached to the forklift while standing in front of the slabs, they began to topple. Both men leapt from the side of the trailer but the falling slabs hit Mr Samson.

He suffered a broken leg and severe bruising to his right side. Mr Samson was on crutches for six months and remained out of work for ten months.

The company was fined a total of £2,000 with £5,000 in costs after admitting two breaches of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act l974.

The owner was fined a total of £2,000 and ordered to pay £5,000 in costs after pleading guilty to two similar breaches of the Act.

After the hearing, HSE Inspector Jane Wolfenden said:

“Despite the high risk of serious personal injury involved in the handling and moving of stone slabs being well known in the industry, and despite specific advice to devise a safe system of work for unloading them from a vehicle, the defendants failed to respond.

“The attitude towards health and safety was so poor that the company even permitted the continued use of a lifting attachment that had been subject to a prohibition notice.

“HSE will not hesitate to take action against either companies or their directors whose approach to the wellbeing of their employees fall so well below accepted standards.”


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